World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Padma (attribute)

Article Id: WHEBN0003740750
Reproduction Date:

Title: Padma (attribute)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kaumodaki, Marici (Buddhism), Tahōtō, Shaligram, Ashtamangala
Collection: Buddhist Ritual Implements, Buddhist Symbols, Hindu Symbols
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Padma (attribute)

Sacred Lotus
The Hindu goddess Lakshmi holding & standing on a lotus, Raja Ravi Varma painting.
The boy Buddha rising up from lotus. Crimson and gilded wood, Trần-Hồ dynasty, Vietnam, 14th-15th century

Padma (Nelumbo nucifera), the sacred lotus, is an aquatic plant that plays a central role in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The lotus flower has many different names such as the "Indian Lotus", the "Sacred Lotus", and the "Bean of India".

Contents

  • Symbolism 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4

Symbolism

The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an ancient and polyvalent symbol in Asian culture. Hindus revere it with the gods Vishnu, Brahma and to a lesser degree Kubera, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati . Often used as an example of divine beauty and purity, Vishnu is often described as the "Lotus-Eyed One". The lotus springs from the navel of Vishnu while he is in Yoga Nidra. The lotus blooms uncovering the creator god Brahma in lotus position.[1] Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Particularly Brahma and Lakshmi, the divinities of potency and wealth, have the lotus symbol associated with them.

The lotus flower is one of the Ashtamangala of Buddhism, representative of creation and cosmic renewal and "primordial purity" (Wylie: ka dag) and shares in the chakra and mandala symbolism of the Dharmacakra, is also cited extensively within the Puranas and Vedas, for example:

One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water.
— Bhagavad Gita 5.10:

This has also taken root in Chinese cultures with a famous statement made by the 11th century Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi: "I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained."

The padma is held to be a flower with a thousand petals and is therefore associated with the Sahasrara and indeed all the chakra. The padma appears as an endemic dais upon which deities rest and indeed upon which Hindu iconography is founded.

In Buddhist symbolism the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind as while rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its petals.

It is also to be noted that many Asian deities are depicted seated on a lotus flower. According to legend, Gautama Buddha was born with the ability to walk and everywhere he stepped, lotus flowers bloomed.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Refer Brahma Samhita.

References

  • Dallapiccola, Anna L. (2002). Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. New York: Thames & Hudson.  
  • Lawlor, Robert (1991). Voices Of The First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, Ltd. ISBN 0-89281-355-5
  • Shakti M. Gupta (1971). Plant Myths and Traditions in India.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.